The first step for successful invention development is finding a great idea.
The good news is that
great ideas are all around us. The challenge is learning how to tune in and
recognize them. I come up with new ideas
all the time. I actually keep a list on
my smartphone whenever a new thought hits me.
If it's good enough, I work it through the very same Invent And Profit System TM I describe for
you here on this website.
Here are some techniques you can use to start looking for
new ideas. By time you finish reading
this section you may already come up with a great idea.
Invention development can come from our hobbies, education, and/or training.
If you love to play tennis, work in a sporting goods store, take tennis lessons or teach tennis to others then you have probably encountered some problems that you would like solved. Maybe you have an idea for a shoe design that would make tennis shoes last longer. (If you play tennis then you probably know that certain parts of your tennis shoes wear out very quickly.) Or you could come up with a better way to keep the net tight and in place on the tennis court. Or how about a better way to hold or retrieve tennis balls? Find a problem that you personally encounter and solve it. People who invent products that solve problems are some of the most successful inventors.
Another great source of ideas comes from people who wanted some sort of product but they couldn't find anything on the market so they made their own.
For example, I am an animal
lover and I had cats. I loved the
animals but I did not like scooping their litter box. I looked at all of the designs on the market
and nothing impressed me. I knew there
had to be a way to make it much easier to clean the litter box, something that
was not a gimmick but that actually worked.
After searching and finding nothing, I came up with my own design and
built one for myself. Now, instead of spending
a few minutes on my knees scooping litter everyday, I just came home and gave
my box a half-turn. All of the waste
would fall out and the box would be clean in a few seconds. I then put this idea through the invention development process in my system, saw
that it was viable, and patented it.
Let others start the invention development process for you.
None of us knows everything, although I bet you have some friends or a teenager who think they do! But seriously, listen to your friends, co-workers, and people around you. I routinely hear people say things like "I wish they made ___." If I think it is a viable idea, I take the challenge and go ahead and make it. One of my best selling products is something that I didn't know others wanted until I paid attention to what people were looking for and that did not exist. About one-third of the ideas on my new inventions list are products from this category. As an example, I was speaking with my sister one day and she said "I wish someone would make a smoke detector that you could turn off by yelling "I'm cooking!" What a great idea! I did a quick patent search and found that the idea was already patented so I could not build it unless I wanted to license the patent from the inventor.
Many people start by looking at existing products and try to think of ways to improve them.
about computer printers, for example.
Some of you may remember the old dot-matrix printers. They were loud,
slow, and the print was poor quality.
From that we got thermal printers, ink jet printers, laser printers,
color printers and now 3-D printers. Or
how about cooking pans for you foodies out there? First we had cast iron, then someone made
lighter weight aluminum. Someone else
developed copper pans due to the way they conduct heat. Time went on and we got non-stick pans and
ceramic coated pans. Today there are
pans in all shapes and sizes made out of various metals and even silicone! I have made a lot of money in this area with
my own line of specialty silicone pans.
Creating product accessories is big business. This is an invention development category by itself.
Think about the iPhone and iPad for example. Apple makes great products but their specialty is iPhones and iPads. They do not make cases, covers, screen protectors, keyboards, etc. But there is a huge market for these accessories and many more. I have seen external speakers, alarm clocks that dock and charge iPhones, cables that hook into televisions, projectors, printers, and more. Not to mention the unlimited possibilities for useful apps that Apple will sell in their app store. Many people have made a lot of money filling this niche. And as Apple upgrades their products, they create a whole new market for more of these and other accessories. Now, think about Android and Windows based devices with all of the different models available and you can easily see that there is no shortage of opportunities for new products. In my own consulting business, I have worked with a client who had a great idea for an iPad accessory that he patented and, at the time of this writing is developing for the market.
Inventor's Success Tip
"Do not rush to patent your idea. Follow the steps in the invention development process as I lay them out for you so you don't waste a dime."
Tip: one of the biggest mistakes I see people make is
rushing to patent their idea before they have followed the correct steps. They often pay a lot of money to try to
patent a premature design and then have to go back to the drawing board because
they skipped over the invention process as described in my Invent And Profit System. TM
You should be able to see now that opportunities for new ideas to start off your invention development can be found all around you. The key is to pay attention to your environment and take note of new ideas as you think of them. Then, follow the steps I lay out for you here and you may have an idea that you can take to market, and, better yet, take to the bank!